Does love really equal respect?

by Caitlin Camara

Photo: Entertainment Tonight

On this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, viewers watched as Taylor Armstrong’s abusive marriage unraveled on national television. Although Armstrong’s husband has been abusing her for five years, this is the first time her friends have confronted her about it.

“He would grab my hair and bang my head against the side of the car between the two doors, or against the glass of the passenger-side window while he was driving, because it made his point to me but didn’t leave a visible mark.”

Armstrong says she tried to fight back, but Russell told her not to, saying,

“Don’t ever do that again because I almost killed you. One of these days, I’m afraid I’m going to kill you.”

But the RHOBH are not the only reality television stars dealing with relationship violence.  On a recent episode of Teen Mom 2, Jenelle Evans was grabbed by her neck and thrown into a car by boyfriend Kieffer Delp after throwing a friend’s change jar at him and threatening to “punch him the face.”

In the United States, every nine seconds a woman is assaulted and beaten. The number one reason women stay in these relationships? Love.

What’s worse? Those brave enough to report such incidents are faced with authorities who are less than willing to accept these claims and take proper precautions. An Emmanuel student who wished to remain anonymous recently reported her ex-boyfriend’s abuse, claiming he had “punched her in the jaw, grabbed her by the wrist, shoved her against the wall, held her against the wall by her throat, and punched her once more in the stomach,” while discussing the girl’s possible pregnancy. The student says Campus Safety was reluctant at first to do more than give her a phone support hotline, even though Emmanuel’s website boasts their offer of both a “Restraining Order (209A)” and a “civil stay away order.”

No wonder so many women choose to keep the stories of their abuse silent.

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